January 31st 2014 will mark the Year of the Wood Horse, a year of great energy and power. The wood horse will want room to run, so dream big. Set goals worthy of a powerful steed and ride your way to success! What are your goals for this year? According to the USA.gov official web site, the top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2014 are:
1. Lose Weight
3. Quit Smoking
6. Save Money
7. Get Fit
10. Manage Debt
Follow Oxfam’s GROW Method to keep your New Year's resolutions and decrease world hunger. Tackle goal number one for most Americans by eating healthier and instituting Meatless Mondays. There's a common thread in all the "Best Diets" listed in U.S. News & World Report: less meat. Meat-reduced and whole foods programs are leading the way with the most well-balanced diet plans. Even eliminating meat for just one day a week greatly improves your overall health.
The National Cancer Institute's study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to die during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Eating processed meats also increased the risk of death from heart disease and other factors. Plus, feel a sense of history and patriotism while participating in Meatless Mondays. The idea originated in World War I when the U.S. Food Administration urged families to practice “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” to do their part and aid the war effort. Recently the Meatless Monday movement has picked up steam, and become popular on a global scale!
Volunteering is number two on the list, and if you're considering a positive change of pace, join Oxfam to meet this goal. Even if you're more focused on the job hunt, remember that volunteering can build up your resume while expanding your horizons, helping to land the perfect job. Look on www.oxfamamerica.org for volunteer opportunities and possibly some travel opportunities as well.
Volunteering is also good for your mental and physical help, according to Harvard studies. Volunteering keeps people more connected, warding off loneliness and depression. There is also evidence suggesting that people who give their time to others may be rewarded with lower blood pressure, overall better health, and a longer life span.
Other GROW-friendly life changes can tackle most of the top ten goals. Get fit, burn calories, and save money by riding a bike or walking whenever possible. Eat healthy and support local farmers by eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. Incorporating a few simple energy and calorie saving habits into your lifestyle will benefit the planet and your overall health. It will also save money on gas and food, thereby helping to manage debt.